Symptoms and Signs of Childhood Brain Tumor: Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Childhood Brain Tumor: Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid

Central nervous system (CNS) atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is a very rare, fast-growing tumor that occurs when cells in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord start to grow abnormally. It usually occurs in children aged three years and younger, although it can occur in older children and adults. About half these tumors form in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls movement, balance, and posture, or brain stem, the part of the brain that controls breathing, heart rate, and the nerves and muscles used in seeing, hearing, walking, talking, and eating.

Symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor depend on the child's age and where the tumor formed. Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors are fast growing, so symptoms may develop quickly and worsen over a period of days or weeks. Symptoms of AT/RT may include morning headache or headache that goes away after vomiting, nausea and vomiting, unusual sleepiness or change in activity level, loss of balance, lack of coordination, trouble walking, or an increase in head size (in infants).

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.